Yet Another American Military Mission Is Failing

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I suppose you have to read the whole thing to get the true flavor of the situation, but here’s the latest from Afghanistan:

In September, the Taliban briefly seized Kunduz, the first city to fall since the demise of its regime, prompting the U.S. military to dispatch Special Operations troops and stage airstrikes to help the Afghan security forces retake control.

Now, the insurgents are on the doorsteps of several provincial capitals, applying more pressure on urban areas than in any year of the conflict. The clashes in Helmand have reflected the Taliban strategy that led to the takeover of Kunduz — seizing surrounding districts before moving in on the provincial capital. Already, the Taliban are in the enclave of Ba­baji, within the borders of Helmand’s capital, Lashkar Gah.

….Afghans, including senior military officials, no longer even pretend that they can fight the Taliban effectively on their own. “When the foreigners were here, we had plenty of facilities and equipment,” said 1st Lt. Naseer Ahmad Sahel, 30, a civil-order police company commander who was wounded last month in a firefight in Marja. “There were 100 cameras overlooking Marja alone.”

Faqir, the commander of the 215th Corps, said, “We don’t have the air support that we should have.”

There isn’t a single country from Libya to Afghanistan where American military intervention has succeeded, nor a single country where American military training has been anything but a disaster. We can’t do counterinsurgency on our own, and the troops we’ve tried to train are too divided in their loyalties to be effective.

But we’re supposed to believe that if only we’d picked a side in the Syrian civil war two years ago, that would have made all the difference? Or that if only we’d kept a few thousand more troops in Iraq for a few more years, ISIS never would have become a threat? Spare me. How many times does Lucy have to pull away the football before Charlie Brown finally figures out what’s going on?

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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